Elizabeth Lin, MD, MPH

“There is no good health without mental health so TEAMcare helps doctors and patients reach and maintain mental and physical health goals. We're pleased that TEAMcare has been so well received nationally.”

Elizabeth Lin, MD, MPH

Adjunct Researcher, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Physician, Washington Permanente Medical Group, Family Medicine

Areas of focus:

Biography

Elizabeth Lin, MD, MPH, is a physician scientist known for pioneering work integrating mental health treatment into primary care services. Dr. Lin co-founded the collaborative care model for depression with KPWHRI Senior Investigator Michael Von Korff, ScD, and the late Affiliate Investigator Wayne Katon, MD, of the University of Washington (UW). Since the 1990s, this model of care has been adopted by health care organizations nationwide and disseminated globally.

Dr. Lin’s experiences as a family physician fuel her enduring commitment to designing primary care services that address both the mental and physical health needs of patients. Harnessing the synergy of care team members who collaborate with each other and with patients to achieve optimal outcomes is a key focus of her research. In the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded TEAMcare randomized trial, Dr. Lin and colleagues found that patients with complex health care needs experienced improved diabetes, heart disease, and depression outcomes when mental health treatment was integrated into primary care. The study’s compelling findings have been published in several influential journals—including the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010 (see news release), British Medical Journal in 2011, and Annals of Family Medicine in 2012 (see news release).

Dr. Lin’s experience as a principal investigator includes both major randomized controlled trials and epidemiologic cohort studies funded by NIH. As a practicing physician and a UW clinical professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, she prioritizes translating evidence-based methods of improving care and outcomes for chronic illnesses into a variety of clinical settings. In 2010, she received a Partnership for Innovation grant from the Group Health Foundation to adapt the TEAMcare program into the patient-centered medical home at a Kaiser Permanente Washington primary care clinic. The TEAMcare model is also a key component of a large Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services program to implement collaborative care for patients with diabetes, heart disease, and depression in seven states across the U.S.

This collection of ground-breaking work has prompted Dr. Lin’s appointment to several national advisory boards, including the Agency for Health Research and Quality’s National Council on Integration of Mental Health and Primary Care, and the American Psychological Association’s first-ever Guideline Development Panel for Depression Disorders. She also brings an important global health perspective to her work—having conducted international mental health research with the World Health Organization (WHO) and served as faculty at WHO research conferences. Fluent in several languages, Dr. Lin has participated in several volunteer medical assistance missions around the world.

 

Research interests and experience

  • Mental Health

    Collaborative care to integrate treatment of common mental health problems into general medical services; physical-mental comorbidity

  • Chronic Illness Management

    Innovative teamwork and a patient-centered, holistic approach in care for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, and depression

  • Behavior Change

    Healthy aging;  physical activity; self care; medication adherence

  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions

    Stress reduction to improve quality of life for patients with psychological and  physical conditions

  • Health Disparities

    Minority and  immigrant health

 

 

Recent publications

Von Korff M, Walker RL, Saunders K, Shortreed SM, Thakral M, Parchman M, Hansen RN, Ludman E, Sherman KJ, Dublin S. Prevalence of prescription opioid use disorder among chronic opioid therapy patients after health plan opioid dose and risk reduction initiatives. Int J Drug Policy. 2017 Jun 27;46:90-98. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.05.053 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Bradley KA, Ludman EJ, Chavez LJ, Bobb JF, Ruedebusch SJ, Achtmeyer CE, Merrill JO, Saxon AJ, Caldeiro RM, Greenberg DM, Lee AK, Richards JE, Thomas RM, Matson TE, Williams EC, Hawkins E, Lapham G, Kivlahan DR. Patient-centered primary care for adults at high risk for AUDs: the Choosing Healthier Drinking Options In primary CarE (CHOICE) trial. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2017 May 17;12(1):15. doi: 10.1186/s13722-017-0080-2. PubMed

Tuzzio L, Ludman EJ, Chang E, Palazzo L, Abbott T, Wagner EH, Reid RJ, Design and implementation of a physician coaching pilot to promote value-based referrals to specialty care. Perm J. 2017;21. doi: 10.7812/TPP/16-066. PubMed

Bombardier CH, Fann JR, Ludman EJ, Vannoy SD, Dyer JR, Barber JK, Temkin NR. The relations of cognitive, behavioral, and physical activity variables to depression severity in traumatic brain injury: reanalysis of data from a randomized controlled trial. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2017 Feb 10. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000288. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

Latest News

How Group Health’s collaborative approach transformed depression care

In a group interview, GHRI mental health scientists describe how their work with UW psychiatry researchers changed treatment worldwide.

Read it in News and Events.

healthy findings blog

Rainier Medical Center offers mindfulness class to women of color

Drs. Lin and Holland bring affordable mindfulness-based stress reduction to African American, Latina, and Asian American women with chronic diseases in Seattle.

Read it in Healthy Findings.

Implementing Innovations into Practice blog

Lin-MBSR-Instructor-2016-1col.jpg

Can mindfulness training help ease clinician burnout?

May 24, 2016

The “Implementing Innovations into Practice” blog is a project of the Institute of Translational Health Sciences and GHRI’s MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation.